1652321789795 B 1209 Sb Interiors

What a Fresh Coat of Paint Can Do

Nov. 18, 2009

Cost-cutting can hurt you – even when it comes to the paint in your building

Sometimes saving money can actually cost you. And, these days, with the economy what it is, companies are making business decisions through a narrow budgetary lens. But they don’t realize that these short-term, cost-cutting measures can actually create much bigger expenses down the road. Cost-cutting can hurt you – even when it comes to the paint in your building.

Not all painting is cosmetic in purpose. Paint also protects the surfaces of your facilities – especially exterior surfaces. One major household goods retailer recently chose to delay some of its exterior projects to save money – a decision that isn’t uncommon with any commercial facility today. In particular, this company chose to hold off on repainting the cedar shingles on the exterior of some of its stores this year. This will certainly save the company a few dollars today. But the company is running the risk of damaging those shingles. Rot will invariably set in as the shingles are exposed to the elements, and the shingles will have to be replaced much sooner than they normally would – and for far more money than repainting them today would have cost.

In addition to helping out with proactive, preventive maintenance, a simple, fresh coat of paint can also drive sales and impress tenants/occupants. But it’s not always practical to repaint the entire interior of your building.

Restaurants and Paint

Restaurants face special wear-and-tear issues in their back kitchen areas, with flame-retardant paneling and ceiling grids and tiles. These surfaces are prone to grease, which is tough to clean – but the surfaces are required by code. And replacing these surfaces is pricey. With new paint products in the marketplace today, these surfaces can be painted to make them look brand new – at a fraction of the cost.

Take a communications retailer, for example. Store managers at this retailer can call a phone number to generate a work order for any necessary maintenance. Over the course of a year, thousands of these work orders are generated – most of them for fairly minor items, like banged-up interior columns, scuff marks on doors, and other aesthetic issues. Although each job may be small, they add up quickly if a vendor has to go out to a store every time a work order is created.

Luckily, this retailer is forward-thinking. Rather than being reactive, the retailer was proactive and contracted the vendor to go in twice a year and touch up the high-traffic areas, like doors, columns, and public restrooms. By scheduling this maintenance for regular intervals, the retailer drastically reduced the trip charges it would have otherwise incurred.

Paint can also be a solution to re­­modeling plans. For example, a retailer that specializes in storage and organizing tools chose to focus its efforts on repainting high-traffic areas instead of repainting each store, and had great results. The company was scaling back, but it was still committed to keeping its stores looking fresh.

Changing the color of paint on a wall can also dramatically improve lighting and the indoor atmosphere – and for far less than the cost of replacing the lighting fixtures.

A major clothing retailer always changes out the color on its walls with each new season rollout. The company wanted the clothing to “pop” off the walls; moreover, it wanted passersby to notice the different look of the store and come in and browse. The company even determined that same-store sales increased by 17 percent after each change in paint color.

Obviously, the challenge is to balance short- and long-term needs. In this economy, it’s only natural that every building owner wants to save a buck. Just don’t get so worried about saving money now that you end up spending more in the long run.

Brandon Finkenhoefer is national sales manager at Naperville, IL-based ISP Painting.

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